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Copeman60 01-25-2014 08:07 AM

What's your thoughts on the M1A rifle
After months of research an little experience with shooting ar10s in the 308 I've come to the conclusion that the m1a1 might be a better choice rather than a ar10 in 308. Seems to be a issues with feeding an finding parts our both limited an expansive!!! M1a1s aren't much cheaper but they our battle proven an in some cases still used by our armed forces today!! May not be as accurate as a ar10 but I think it's safe to say that the M1A1 is more reliable. Sure the egos an the platform of the ar10 is more convenient but maybe not better?? Please share your thoughts on this one. Thanks Dan

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DrFootball 01-25-2014 08:20 AM

M14/21 vs. AR-10
I have only shot an AR-10 a few times, but one day will own one. I have two M1's, an A1 w/18" tube and compensator, and an E2 with Bi-pod (both have bi pods but the one on my E2 is much sturdier), Pistol Grip, 22.5" barrel, and enhanced stock with heavy duty Rear Butt Pad,.

Jay Jacobs of Franklin Armory says the extra few inches of Barrel may matter in a 30 caliber weapon, but not in the 22 center fire .223/5.56 guns....Hmm....

Copeman60 01-25-2014 08:34 AM

I would prefer the 22" barrel. I didn't know they made a 22.5" barrel. I've always been a fan of longer barrels especially in larger cals.. What moa do u achieve with your best loads on a good day??

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kbd512 01-25-2014 08:43 AM

The amount of man years of engineering refinement that has been sunk into the AR-15 platform is not the same as the AR-10 platform.

The AR-10's from KAC are fantastic rifles, but the commercial quality AR-10's are not the same rifle.

The M14 is a fantastic rifle, too, but it is heavier and the ergonomics are not quite as good as with the AR platform.

If you keep an AR-10 or M-14 lubricated and replace springs and wear parts, you'll have very few problems with either, presuming both were properly manufactured. That generally means expensive.

A SEI M-14 is not the same product as a SAI M-14. Yes, they appear similar externally, but that's where the similarities end. If anything, the SAI M-14 is more visually appealing. Silly little things like correctly dimensioning parts, heat treatment processes, machining processes, and magazine quality have a lot more to do with long term durability and reliability than how pretty or ugly something is.

With regards to casting, forging, and use of plastic/aluminum/steel; It really does not matter so long as the material selection and design are suitable for the intended purpose.

After you carry a M-14 for a few hours, carry a lightweight AR-10 or SCAR-17 for a few hours, and then get back to us. Weight matters, especially if you carry it in your hands.

Personally, I think the SCAR-17 is a more ergonomic and user-friendly weapon than the M-14. It has the fire control layout of the AR-10/15 rifles, but the fire control lever has a shorter throw. You can mount anything you could reasonably mount to a 7.62 rifle and it's every bit as accurate as a light barrel AR-10. You could make the AR-10 lighter still with a plastic lower, but we're not there yet in terms of technology.

The SCAR definitely has the least amount of recoil between the three and will be the most compact if you have to use it from a vehicle. Comfort while shooting is always nice to have if you can get it.

The SEI M-14 is somewhat less expensive than a KAC AR-10. Both are significantly more expensive than the SCAR-17 and neither offers any real advantage over the SCAR.

DrFootball 01-25-2014 08:45 AM

I've never shot commercial hunting ammo in either springer. With most .308 or 7.62 ammo my Groups ( through a leatherwood 3X9-40, about 2.5 to 3" groups at 200, and out to 300 Yds. On the E2. With the A1 more like 3-4" at 400 Yds with a less exp. Redfield scope of the same magnification. I may go out and get Nikon or Burris glass as both these scopes are almost 20 years old....

SSGN_Doc 01-25-2014 11:04 AM

The M1A is a good rifle. As a solid, reliable rifle goes with very good open sight accuracy potential it's really good. They can be bedded, scoped, have their gas blocks unitized, and have match barrels installed, but that is not their strong suit. Being 2MOA or better with iron sights is their strong suit.

I have encountered 2 M1A rifles that had reliability issues. One had a bad piston, the other had a messed up trigger group. So, these rifles are still capable of having problems. They are actually more complex than the "Big AR" between the gas system, trigger design, and stock fitting.

I have an old loaded model that has a carbon steel match barrel, unitized gas block, match rear sight, and bedded stock. It is an absolute joy to shoot. With the right ammo I can get groups that are just under 1" at 100 yds, but it averages closer to 1.5". For service rifle matches that's pretty good. Not the best but not bad. A better barrel may help, but they are pricey and I'd need a good gunsmith to install it.

If you want a dedicated scoped rifle for precision work, is point you back toward the ARs. Less reciprocating mass to try to true up for shot to shot precision. Easier to do barrel swaps, has a more closed action for rigidity and better optics mounting. No stock bedding issues, and forend to barrel tension tweeking required.

My opinion is that M1As are best, as an open sight battle rifle, with expectations along the lines of what one would expect from a battle rifle.

If someone wants a precision rifle, it can be coaxed along, but it will be tedious and expensive.

25-5 01-25-2014 01:36 PM

I only have experience with the SA M1A. I have the National Match. I reload for it. It's a great battle rifle. It brought me back to iron sights.

Mercator 01-25-2014 01:52 PM

If you are not committed to its history and romance, and you don't plan to compete, the M1A1 is too heavy and expensive compared to the other choices.

BlueTurf 01-25-2014 04:06 PM

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I have had a SA NM M1A for about 10 years. I had always liked the M-14 and wanted one since I was a kid. The M-14 is what is known as a battle rifle, not an assault rifle. It is a great rifle if you like using iron sights and take the time to carefully aim for each shot instead of the pow pow pow shooting. It can shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger but its accuracy makes each shot enjoyable. It is a much heavier rifle than the average AR and I wouldn't want to pack mine up and down steep hills very often. I have shot many M-16s and AR-15s but for me the M1A is more fun to use.

sigman84 01-25-2014 04:37 PM

Just so we are clear the M1A1 is a variant of the Thompson submachine gun.

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